Karen Taira

Education Programs Manager

Karen joined the Lurie Garden in 2015. She has several years experience in conservation, restoration and community gardening. Prior to joining Lurie Garden, she worked for the Park District of Highland Park’s natural areas, where she identified and removed invasive species and participated in prescribed burns, among other responsibilities, and for Conservation Land Stewardship, an Elmhurst, Ill.-based landscape restoration and management firm. For nearly 15 years, she managed and taught educational programs at the Evanston Ecology Center.

Karen received a master’s degree in Plant Biology and Conservation from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Loyola University Chicago. Among other endeavors, she has worked with Dwight Perkins Woods Restoration Committee, Openlands Lakeshore Preserve’s vegetation assessment and the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plants of Concern monitoring programs.

Karen loves sharing her love of plants and the natural world with program participants, especially in urban areas. Karen strives to have the programming reflect the best of Chicago and the surrounding area in horticulture, conservation gardening, artistry and more.

Office Hours: Part Time, Tuesday/Thursday